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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Single-Sixer

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:01 am
Posts: 247
Location: Washington's wet side USA
I'm a HUGE fan of the Ruger Single Six. It has been one of my most carried firearms in the field and I've shot more critters with it than any other firearm I own. It has always been a reliable and accurate firearm and it just plain gets the job done - from paper targets and plinking to camp meat and putting down livestock I have nothing but praise for it.

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A while back I passed on a Single Six in 32 Mag and ever since then it has been like a splinter in my mind. Well I remedied that (Thanks to Ruger1nut for alerting me to Contender85's classified post) recently and I am now in possession of one.

Among the first things I noticed is the 32 Mag hefts more lightly than the 22 caliber version.

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The 32 Mag weighs in at 30.7 ounces (empty) vs. the 22lr 5.5" version at 38.4 oz. Almost a half pound lighter... Not huge but noticeably lighter and it seems to be in a good way as sometimes lighter weight punishes the shooter with recoil, reduced size or lack of stability. The 32 Mag Ruger feels just right.

Since this was my first venture into the realm of the 32 H&R Mag I had to buy dies, brass (Starline) and I also purchased the RCBS 32-98 SWC mold based on its near universal praise and accuracy with the Ruger Single Six. Officially the OAL for this caliber is 1.350" but the 1.400" + OAL of the cartridges I cast, loaded and had ready to go fit the Single Six with room to spare. Not quite enough cylinder length for another favorite of mine the 32-20.

My early tests show promise. I've only tried Alliant Unique and Winchester 231 powders so far, since data on this cartridge is somewhat limited at this time. Even so I was very pleased with my early experiments.

The powder that seems to be most consistent over the chronograph is Winchester 231. It has also produced the most impressive groups.

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7 yards, offhand (no rests) with both the Lyman 311008 (.313" actual) and the RCBS 32-98-SWC (sized .314").

With Unique the extreme spreads were wider apart, but the accuracy was similar. I have very little doubt I would be able to find a 'sweet spot' using Unique that would produce consistent velocities and good accuracy. That being said I'm probably going to further explore what Winchester 231 does within its published data limitations and a few other powders like Lil'gun and Bullseye first.

The two bullets I've tested are the Lyman 311008 (118 grains as cast) and the RCBS 32-98-SWC (103 grains as cast). Using a roughly 20/1 alloy the 008 drops right at .313" from the mold and I loaded them as cast. The RCBS 98 grain bullet dropped .316" and in VERY limited testing seemed to shoot (slightly) better when sized to .314 in my Lee push through sizer (pan lubed).

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I have not slugged the barrel or measured the cylinder on this gun. My enthusiasm and expectations for this revolver were very high based on the other reviews I've read here and on other sites. Once it was in my possession my first stop was the range for some preliminary testing.

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Lyman 311008 bullet in Starline Case.

Here are my first findings.


RCBS 32-98-SWC

-Unsized (.316") over Unique (Starting load) 1144 fps avg. Promising accuracy - still getting used to the sights and trigger of this new to me revolver. Wide extreme spread, over 150 fps in the 5 shot string.

-Same load as above with a .314" sized bullet, slightly better 7 yard group and second best extreme spread/standard of deviation of the session. Slightly improved accuracy vs above loading, not conclusive though. 1110 fps average.

-Winchester 231 at starting load levels produced 928 fps avg and also the best accuracy.

Lyman 311008 cast bullet (118 grains) as cast, pan lubed.

3.7 grains of Unique loads averaged. 980 fps Accuracy was on par with the day's average comparatively, good.

-Winchester 231 starting load level produced 920 fps average with this bullet and the second best 7 yard group of the day.

Double Check ALL LOAD DATA!


The Lee Factory Crimp Die was used for all loads.

Overall, I really couldn't be much happier. This little revolver shows some real accuracy promise and will no doubt see field use as a camp meat, woods loafing, plinker, pack gun and probably get some use in silhouette matches as well. My only regret is that it took me too long to get one.




[/u]


Last edited by JustsayMo on Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:22 pm 
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Ruger Guru
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 28235
Location: Lake Lure NC USA
Nahh,, you shouldn't have started playing with that old 32 mag. Now you are gonna want a few more of them.
THey do find a way to get under your skin!
Nice gun BTW!

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:04 pm 
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Blackhawk

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:43 am
Posts: 608
Location: Kentucky
Good gun, great loads...I've had good luck wit 3.2 gr of 231 or HP-38 (they're identical according to a dealer and the Hodgen Data Site).

Excellent write-up and pics. I'll try some of your data. As a side note, I've had excellent results using the same (3.2 gr) charge with Lyman's 311008, home cast, and Bonus Bullets Commercial LSWC offering at 95 gr.

Rod

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:15 am 
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Hunter

Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:01 pm
Posts: 4242
Location: People's Republik of Kalifornia
Welcome to the 32 Ruger fraternity. Thanks for the great report.

You might also like shooting 32 longs in it as well. Since I load them for my S&W .32 J frame target Mod 30 with 3.5 grs of Unique and a 95 gr Nevada Bullet SWC anyway, I also shoot them in the Ruger. Always good for at least 1" groups at 15 yards from my 4 5/8" Ruger Single Six and 32 'Vaquero'.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 1:01 am
Posts: 31600
Location: Star Valley, WY
I load the 118's over WW-296 sparked by a small rifle primer.

The load shoots very well in my .32's.

flatgate


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:41 am 
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Buckeye

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 1:01 am
Posts: 1656
Location: Aridzona
I've said it many times before, but IMO seldom has there been a more perfect match up of cartridge and gun (along with the .44 Special and mid-frame SAs).


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:59 am 
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Single-Sixer

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:01 am
Posts: 247
Location: Washington's wet side USA
Thanks again for the insights, recommendations and inspiration guys. I've been pouring over your old 32 Mag posts here for a few weeks and it's what tipped me over the edge. I'm one happy camper right now.

Contender - I can already see myself needing another one of these...

Rodfac, Hondo and Flatgate- I'll put those loads on my list to try. I like that this gun doesn't seem too finicky - at short range anyway. I'm going to try to air it out at longer range today if I get the chance. Rain and wind might delay that.

gak - I couldn't agree more. Divinely inspired I suspect.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:56 am 
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Ruger Guru
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 28235
Location: Lake Lure NC USA
Gee I wonder why I figured that might be the case! :D :D
Wait until ya try the 327 mag,,, it'll just feed the habit.

_________________
Shoot straight and safe!

" A fine is a tax for doing wrong,
and a tax is a fine for doing
right! "
NRA Instructor
USPSA shooter
SASS shooter (Outlaw Joe Wales)
NRA Women On Target Instructor
NC Hunter Safety Instructor
Nuisance Wildlife Control
Scuba Instructor
Eagle Scout, BSA


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:07 am 
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Hunter
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Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 2:01 am
Posts: 4331
Location: Arlington, Virginia
In my opinion there's no better small bore revolver. In fact, I'm finishing up a custom 32 H&R Single-Six right now (6.5" barrel). Can't wait to get it to the range.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:25 am 
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Buckeye

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 1:01 am
Posts: 1656
Location: Aridzona
I was early to get hooked--getting one of the first Rugers out of the chute in 1984, a 5.5"--adjustable sight back then. Really struck me right then the day I broght it home, and ratified permanently when I shot it, that the combo was just about the slickest thing to come along. Sure was a tough sell though for the next twenty years to convince others who'd drunk the "bigger is always better" kool aid the rags--and hence vendors--were dipensing. For some reason, folks were very reluctant to adopt a "variety is the spice of life" philosophy, and that a new caliber didn't have to beat the .357 to be useful.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:00 pm 
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Buckeye
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:24 pm
Posts: 1929
Location: NC
Nice revolver


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:56 pm 
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Blackhawk

Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:50 pm
Posts: 821
Location: Michigan
I picked up a 4 5/8 SS last summer. It looked unfired and I was on the fence about shooting it. I got some advice here and like you read all the old posts I could find and ended up with my favorite handgun. It goes with me on all my dog walks and hunting trips. I think it is the perfect trail gun for my needs.
On my agenda is some Holly grips and a trigger slick up, and maybe a Bisley hammer.
I was really resisting picking up yours when it went up for sale.

And as long as you shoot the bear in the head it is rumored to be good bear medicine... :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Hunter
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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:09 pm
Posts: 2979
Location: OryGun
Man, I love the 32's too. I load a 94 grain rnfp that looks more like a swc... with 3.5 - 4.2 grains 231 for 850 - 1000 fps.

The jhp's get BD or 11-12 grains of 296.

Image

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:12 pm 
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Hunter

Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:01 pm
Posts: 4242
Location: People's Republik of Kalifornia
Yep they are habit forming!

Don't have a pic of my 32 'Vaquero' or 32 SSM but here's the twin sister to the SSM in .22. They are a matched set.
Image

And then there's the 32 S&W Long herd in order by age, right to left.
Image

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Ruger single action "collector, accumulator, builder and shooter"
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:05 am 
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Single-Sixer

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:01 am
Posts: 247
Location: Washington's wet side USA
Thanks again for all the insights and encouragement guys.

Tested a few more loads with the RCBS 32-98-SWC:

Lil'Gun, starting load, BIG fireball, 1183 fps (avg) promising accuracy.

Bullseye, starting load +, 951 fps (avg), poorest accuracy so far. Not sure why, might have been me... comparatively the groups were about 4x the size of the other loads.

Unique- Max published loads, 1190 fps, BEST accuracy so far. Consistent velocity too, ES within 25 fps. Loaded a bunch more to test further.


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